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MISSING NIMÂMÂ by Melanie Florence


by Melanie Florence ; illustrated by François Thisdale

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: March 15th, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9939351-4-5
Publisher: Clockwise Press

A free-verse intergenerational story of separation, loss, and daughter-mother connection amid the ongoing crisis of missing First Nations girls and women.

Kateri wakes up from a dream, realizing that her nimâmâ (mother) is no longer there. The girl asks her nôhkom (grandmother) where her mother is and is told, “She’s one of the lost women, kamâmakos.” Through the trajectory of her life—going to school, falling in love, getting married, attending a march for missing indigenous women, Kateri learns how to cope with the sudden loss of her beloved mother. On each page, Cree author Florence presents two narratives: Kateri’s and her missing nimâmâ’s. By juxtaposing the daughter’s and mother’s thoughts and feelings in complementary verse, Florence provides them the opportunity to experience life together from their respective points of view and to talk to each other from a distance. Thisdale’s soft-edged, wistful artwork enriches the heartfelt story, strongly capturing the passage of time and Kateri’s emotional journey. An afterword is appended, offering simple and relevant information as well as statistics of missing and murdered indigenous girls and women; together with the story, it should help to begin a conversation with young readers.

A solid debut picture book that works as a record of voices that are usually unheard, ignored, and forgotten. (glossary of Cree terms) (Picture book. 7-10)